Puckett tabbed to head Cardinal baseball

The George Rogers Clark High School baseball has a new coach. Officials announced the hiring of Matt Puckett Friday.

Puckett had been the coach of the GRC softball team the past seven years — leading the Cardinals to two region titles and a pair of region championship games.

Prior to that, Puckett had been an assistant for the GRC softball and baseball teams.

He was an assistant for Larry Allison at GRC from 2000 to 2006. He was a part of two region championship teams in 2002 and 2003.

Puckett said he looks foward to returning to coach baseball, but it was not easy to leave the softball program.

“I’d always wanted to be a head baseball coach,” he said. “It was a tough decision to leave the girls because I love the softball program and I had been a part of it a long time.”

Ultimately, it was a promise he made his father — the late Jerry Puckett, who was Matt’s assistant with the softball program until last season — that made him pursue the baseball job.

“My dad made me promise that if I ever had a chance to get a baseball coaching job I would go out and get it,” he said. “It so happened this one came open and I applied, and I was fortunate enough to get the job.”

Puckett said he’ll try to meet with the team soon.

“I want to get the kids together in the next week or so just to get to know them,” he said. “We might do a light workout just to get familiar with the kids and get them familiar with me.”

The Cardinals are coming off a 10th Region championship. GRC has won the 40th District championship the past three seasons.

“They had a good season last year and want to continue that,” Puckett said. “We’d love to get back to the state tournament and maybe try to win a few games. Maybe bring home a state championship. No reason we can’t do that with a lot of work and dedication from the young men.”